Results tagged ‘ Johnny Damon ’

Sometimes in Baseball, Down is Up and Up is Down

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GLENDALE, AZ–Former major league catcher and broadcaster Joe Garagiola once wrote a book called Baseball is a Funny Game. Indeed. Very often what you expect to be your strength is your weakness and vice versa.
This notion can certainly be applied to the White Sox DH situation. Many have been skeptical about the current rotation of Andruw Jones (pictured above), Mark Kotsay and Omar Vizquel with others like Carlos Quentin and Paul Konerko getting some playing time there to get a breather during the course of the long season. Many thought the Sox should have signed Jim Thome or made a bigger push for Johnny Damon before he signed with the Tigers.
Granted, we’re still in the middle of spring training, but the Sox DH scenario is looking awfully good. Following Jones’s 2 for 3 day yesterday where he doubled, stole a base and smacked a three-run homer in the 5-1 win over the Dodgers, the former Braves All-Star is now hitting .400 with seven RBI, three stolen bases, a .500 on base mark and .750 slugging percentage. Equally as significant, he’s in great physical shape. Kotsay, an Ozzie favorite, is batting .391 with a .500 on base percentage, five RBI and a trio of thefts.
Sox notes of note: While the DH situation may be a pleasant surprise, if yesterday is any indication, the Sox strength–pitching–will certainly continue to be so. Jake Peavy led the staff, giving up one run and one hit with six strikeouts in five innings to get the victory. Matt Thornton, Tony Pena, Scott Linebrink and Carlos Torres each pitched one scoreless inning…The South Siders have made more roster moves. First baseman Dayan Viciedo, outfielder Stefan Gartrell and pitcher Jeff Marquez were optioned to Charlotte while pitcher Daniel Cabrera and outfielder Jason Botts were released…There was a lot of White Sox talk at my dinner last night with former Sox and Arizona Cardinals PR guru Paul Jensen, who now promotes Camelback Ranch, and longtime Sox and Bulls TV producer Jim Angio…Sox enjoy their only off-day of the spring today with the Cubs looming at Camelback on Friday. The game is a sellout.

Damon and Boras Finally Decide: It’s the Tigers

OK Sox fans, the pursuit of Johnny Damon is officially over. Time to move on.

I think about that old adage, “Be careful what you wish for, it may come true.” Could be the case here after spending weeks thinking Damon would be the final piece of a championship puzzle. 
Starting tomorrow pitchers and catchers report and we’ll have plenty to cheer about. Yes, even without Mr. Damon.
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Sox Pull Offer to Damon

“It has become clear to us in our recent negotiations that the money that we were offering was not going to be good enough for Johnny at this time.”

                                                                     –Kenny Williams to Bruce Levine of
                                                                       ESPNChicago.com this afternoon

P.S.– Since Damon’s agent Scott Boras is still haggling with the Tigers, I guess “never say never,” but for now the prospect of the Sox getting Damon seems like a longshot.

Sox-wise and Otherwise

My final weekly offseason musings on the White Sox and more. In just two days, four hours and 56 minutes, pitchers and catchers officially report and the 2010 season will be underway.

My Random Thoughts Heading into Spring Training:

*  He’s coming, he’s not coming, he’s coming, he’s not coming, he’s…That’s basically what we’ve been through this week with Johnny Damon. I’m through guessing what will happen. We’ll just have to wait and see and deal with the decision when it comes down. And it very well could be determined before you read this. Who knows?

*  As I look ahead to the 2010 Sox, I can’t help but think that the two keys to whether or not we make the playoffs will be Carlos Quentin and Alex Rios. While the personality of the team will change, putting a priority on pitching, speed, versatility and defense, there still needs to be some significant power now that Jermaine Dye and Jim Thome are no longer on the South Side. Quentin and Rios must rebound from last year whether or not the other factors listed above prove successful.

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 *  Speaking of Jermaine, it’s painful to see he’s still on the outside, looking for a decent
deal. Despite his horrible second half in 2009, you have to think he can help someone. Here’s hoping the news of him signing is imminent. Dye, like the other 2005 guys, holds a special place for us. Even more special for Jermaine, considering he was the World Series MVP.

*  I’m looking forward to seeing Jordan Danks and Jared Mitchell in spring training. It doesn’t seem like either outfielder will make the 25-man roster, but Danks is right on the cusp and actually could make the jump at some point this year. Mitchell is a couple of years away, but inviting him to major league camp is a smart idea–he’ll get a jump start on getting acclimated to major league life.

*  I love this. Jerry Reinsdorf, Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen will be featured in The Club, an original reality series on the MLB Network The show will follow the Sox braintrust to provide “unprecedented behind-the-scenes access” to a major league front office. The Club premieres Sunday, July 4 at 8:00pm, ET.

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*  By the way, has Damon signed yet?

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Will A.J. and Hawk be the Keys to Damon Joining the White Sox?

10.7_bdd_JD_get.jpgIt’s been a long time since A.J. Pierzynski and Johnny Damon were teammates at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, FL. Since then each has had an All-Star career capped off by a World Series ring (in Damon’s case, two). They’ve never played together in the major leagues, but that could change very soon with A.J. having a key role in making it happen.

In an effort to convince free agent Damon to sign with the Sox, Pierzynski and broadcaster Hawk Harrelson hit the links on Tuesday with their target presumably to sell him on the fact that joining the Sox would give him the best shot at a third ring. Another intriguing development is that Damon and his wife are looking for a more cosmopolitan city than Detroit, according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.

Will the A.J./Hawk sales pitch work? There’s really no telling at this point. It has been reported that the Tigers have made offers of $7 million for one year, $14 million for two and the Sox are not budging from their original one-year $4 million offer. That’s only what’s been reported. We really can’t believe what agent Scott Boras says because leveraging is his middle name. And we know full well that Kenny Williams likes to work under the radar–with great success I might add.

With pitchers and catchers now reporting throughout Arizona and Florida, Damon will likely make a decision in the next few days. The only thing we know for sure is that the Sox are still in the running for what I believe would be a major piece in a championship puzzle.

Sox-wise and Otherwise

My weekly offseason musings about the White Sox and more…

Random thoughts:

* Considering how much they contributed to the White Sox, I’m disappointed that Jermaine Dye and Joe Crede are still without homes. And I’m hoping the rumors aren’t true that Jermaine will wind up in Cleveland.

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*Two B’s–budget and Boras (agent Scott)–have seemingly been major obstacles to the White Sox seriously considering the signing of Johnny Damon. And until today the Braves and Tigers appeared to be the teams most likely to acquire the two-time World Champion. However, multiple sources are now saying that the Sox are serious players in the Damon derby. Boy, would he look good in our lineup.

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* Did any of you Sox fans identify with the Saints and their long-suffering fans as they finally won it all? I did.

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* Seems like the Twins’ acquisition of Orlando Hudson has convinced the so-called
experts that the Twinkies are the odds-on favorite in the AL Central. I think folks are forgetting that they’ll be playing in a normal ballpark this year. Big difference.

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* I’ve been to and enjoyed eight Olympics including three Winter Games–Sarajevo,
Calgary and Salt Lake City. But I have to admit I won’t watch very much of the Games
from Vancouver. I guess I’ve lost my Olympic spirit.

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* I finally saw the movie, Couples Retreat. Part of the film, which stars Vince Vaughn
and Jon Favreau among others, is set in Chicago. I’m happy to say that the Sox logo was more prominent than that of the North Siders. Unfortunately, it’s usually the other way around.

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* I’m engrossed in the new biography about the great Willie Mays. It reminds me that I’m on record (granted, I was about 11 when I said it) as saying that former White Sox star Jim Landis (pictured below) was a better centerfielder than Mays. No, I’m not nuts. Just a big Sox fan.

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* Just a reminder, as I write this pitchers and catchers are 10 days, three hours and three days away.

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